A good split jerk begins with a good dip. There are a couple of ways we like to help lifters experience what a proper dip should feel like. This first exercise helps show the lifter what it feels like for the knees to slide forward while keeping the shoulders, torso, and hips stacked.
The weight should start evenly distributed across the foot. We want the shoulders, torso, and hips to be stacked throughout the dip. The knees should slide forward and weight shifts more towards the front of the foot in preparation for the drive up, but not on the toes. Think about jumping (I know, that’s overused a lot). But when you jump, the power doesn’t come from your toes, does it? It comes from the hard drive of the knees and quads, which you can’t get if you are on your toes.
To demonstrate this, have the lifter take a heavy weight (around 90% of their max jerk) and stand with their back against a pole. Have them perform dips. Make sure the lifter’s back and butt stay in contact with the pole at all times and their knees slide forward. If the lifter goes onto their toes, they will come off of the pole and do this weird lurch thingy (you’ll see in the demo).
The second exercise is to do jerk drives with lighter weights. If you understand the concept of how to dip with the knees sliding forward, this is an effective way to learn a short dip with a smooth change of direction (no pause). Let your drive up be the power that lifts the bar off your chest, and simply let your hands guide the bar. Remember, a split jerk can be thought of like a snatch balance. Use the power from the drive and push yourself under quickly.
Test out different depths and speeds of the dip to find out which is most explosive. On your lighter working sets during the week you can do a jerk drive before each jerk to engrain the movement pattern.
1) Hang Snatch (just above knee): 5×2@80%
2) Snatch: 5×1@80%
1) Snatch First Pull (2 count pause @ knee) + Hang Snatch Pull w/Shrug (focus on weight distribution in foot): 5×3@80%
2) Drop Snatch (start in landing position, no upward momentum): 5×3@80%
1a) Bench Press: 5×3@80%
1b) Pendlay Row: 5×3@80%